The AHA May 23 submitted statements for a House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health hearing on challenges for private physician practices, and a House Budget Committee hearing on the budgetary effects of consolidation in health care. For the Ways and Means Committee hearing, AHA noted how physicians are challenged by increased costs, inadequate reimbursements and administrative burdens from public and private insurer practices.  
  
AHA voiced support for policies to reduce administrative burdens from commercial insurers that delay access to care, contribute to health care provider burnout, and increase costs for hospitals and health systems, including streamlining prior authorization requirements in Medicare Advantage plans. AHA also urged Congress to pass the Value in Health Care Act, which would extend incentive payments, remove revenue distinctions and improve financial benchmarks to ensure participants are not penalized for their own success; and the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Reauthorization Act, which would provide grants to help health care organizations offer behavioral health services to prevent burnout and suicide for health care workers through 2029.  
  
For the House Budget Committee hearing, AHA explained the benefits of mergers for some hospitals and health care systems. Mergers and acquisitions can benefit patients and communities with better access to care, improved quality and lower health care costs, the statement notes. AHA also explained how insurers are leveraging their market power to acquire physician practices, and expressed opposition to site-neutral payment cuts and changes to current laws that would either expand the number of physician-owned hospitals or ease growth restrictions for existing facilities.

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